9 charged after Richmond police end Va. occupation

By Steve Szkotak

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 31 2011 10:20 a.m. MDT

Chris Hawkins of Virginia Beach stands on the sidewalk outside Kanawa Plaza in Richmond, Va. early Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 after police closed down the park where the Occupy Richmond group had formed an encampment across from the Federal Reserve Bank building. Officers began clearing the park around 1 a.m. and most of the protesters left when told to and around a dozen who stayed were arrested for trespassing, police spokesman Gene Lepley said.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Joe Mahoney, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Nine people have been cited or arrested after police in Richmond, Va., cleared a city plaza of dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Police spokesman Gene Lepley said Monday the nine were charged with either trespassing or obstruction of justice.

Police moved in at 1 a.m. Monday to clear the plaza of protesters who had occupied the space since Oct. 17.

Protesters said they were surprised because Mayor Dwight C. Jones visited the camp last week and agreed to have city officials meet with protest representatives to discuss the continued occupation.

The protesters said that meeting never occurred.

Lepley declined to say why police acted two weeks after the occupation began, calling that a tactical decision.

Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sszkotakap.

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